The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Naturopaths in Ontario

A buddy of mine hipped me to this article which talks about how regulated naturopathic clinics look like they're coming to Ontario as they have in other provinces, starting with British Columbia in 2010.

The article has some interesting quotes that I would like to examine a bit. Firstly, there's this one:
The intern overseeing Ms. Degabriele’s care is garbed in a crisp white lab coat. So is the clinic’s lead supervisor, Jonathan Tokiwa, who bustles around toting patient files, a stethoscope slung around his neck.
I can put a white lab coat on my four year old and hang a stethoscope around his neck, that doesn't make him a doctor. What is on the outside is irrelevant, it's the methodologies they use to diagnose and treat you that are important. Dressing up nonsense doesn't make it valid, it just make it a pile of shit covered with icing.

Next is this:
Those who support expanding the scope of practice say Canadian naturopaths, who require at least seven years of post-secondary education to earn a licence, can help alleviate the burden of chronic, lifestyle-related diseases using natural techniques such as dietary advice, vitamin treatments, herbs, teas, acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, water therapy and homeopathy, among others.
Ok, about the "seven years of post-secondary education": if you spend seven years learning that your body has "innate wisdom" and that you need to find something that causes the same looking symptoms to what your patient has and then dilute that substance in water beyond Avogadro's limit and put a drop of that liquid on a sugar pill to cure what ails the patient, you've only succeeded in wasting money and seven years. You can study phrenology for 20 years, you're not going to help anyone.

Also, the "argument" that these people can alleviate the burden on the healthcare system is laughable. So you're going to give acupuncture, TCM, homeopathy and other bogus "therapies" to people in need? There is no other field where this would even be given the time of day. Imagine if someone wanted to approach the Ontario Building Code to offer the "alternative" of letting people choose to build the foundation of their houses out of Lego blocks. C'mon, man, it's a viable alternative! A lot of people would WANT that in their homes! The blocks are literally FOR building! It's stupid and don't even start with the, "But there are studies that show that homeopathy/acupuncture/herbal medicines/Bach floral remedies/crystals/ear candling/reiki/chiropractic/reflexology/coffee enemas/therapeutic touch/my personal favorite remedy actually WORKS, man!" When you look at the entire body of research (as you're supposed to), and take only the best quality/size/controlled studies, the mass majority of them show that your pet theory is not viable. If it was viable or worked in any sort of reliable/repeatable/testable way, it would be used and it would be the norm. The fact that it is not tells you that the people who do medicine for their lives know bullshit when they see/smell it.

"But it's a conspiracy, man, of all the Big Pharma companies, man, to keep us sick and dependant on their poisons, maaaaaannnnn." No, it isn't. Pharmaceutical companies have, to a large degree, a bunch of douchebags working for them who only give a shit about money, BUT - don't for get that the best, the absolute BEST way to get famous and well-respected in science is to overturn an established paradigm. Scientists are always trying to undercut each other and overturn well-established ideas or scientific theories. If some scientist discovered that homeopathy actually worked or that reiki actually helped people in real medical danger, that person would be on every news agency, all over the internet, and would be world famous in very short order. It just doesn't happen because the mass majority of anything called "alternative" medicine doesn't work.
“Over the last 12 years there have been no recorded incidents of patient harm,” he (Bob Bernhardt, the president of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine) said. “So how can people say that it’s not safe when actually it’s happening in other places with incredibly good records of safety?”
Great question, Bob. There are two kinds of harm: active and passive. By offering nonsense like homeopathy and acupuncture alongside conventional (real: "real") medicine, you're only convincing the patient that the nonsense works while it is a combination of the real medicine and time that is making them better. What you're setting the patient up for is a massive dose of uncritical thinking and leading them to believe that if/when something really harmful rears its head, they just might treat it with water on a sugar pill...sorry, "homeopathy".

Leading patients to believe in "treatments" that don't actually work is unethical. Period.
“We can’t just wish that this body of people who we consider quacks, frankly … would just go away,” he (Dr. Stanbrook, a staff respirologist at two Toronto teaching hospitals) said in an interview. “I think we have to acknowledge that our patients are seeking this group of people out and come to terms with that.”
Yes, Dr. Stanbrook, that's true, but the answer is not to regulate the quacks - it's to FIX what you're doing wrong or ineffectively. You wouldn't hear, "Well, the Lego foundation people aren't going to just go away, so I guess we'll have to acknowledge that people are going to want Lego foundations in their homes and come to terms with that." It's ludicrous.

Finally a patient quote:
"...I believe, a mixture of natural products plus medication is good for you.”
Well, she's half right.

Note: Thanks Ryan

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2 Barbaric Yawps:

At 3/3/14 8:19 am, Anonymous al kimeea said...

yeah, the rags seem to print adverts for wooligans as news quite regularly.

Sad really. The Star ran an editorial once advocating for better science reporting.

And right back to the free ads for reiki or acupuncture...

At 17/3/15 1:59 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, i stand corrected, i believe western medicine promised MR STEVE JOBS ( ex ceo of apple ) 95% survival but he opted for alternative medicine, we all know what happened ( he died).


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